For the first time in a century, an eclipse fell over the entire continent of America. Although some states only witnessed a slight lapse of light, some states, such as Oregon, Tennessee, South Carolina, and others, were in the path of totality, meaning that the sun was completely blocked from view. But even in the midst of a natural phenomenon, danger and harm can linger.
Although officials warned people that they could not look at the partial eclipse with the naked eye, a few did, and some of them suffered permanent loss of sight. This happens because the sun is still just as bright even when there is a moon covering half of it. Usually, you are forced to look away if you glance at the sun, but when there is an eclipse, your pupils expect the sky to be darker, and so they expand, capturing more of the blinding light. If you have ever stared at a flashlight when it was off, and then flicked it on, chances are you were blinded, and you could see spots. Imagine if that flashlight had the brightness of the sun. That is what looking at a partial eclipse would be like. As scientist Dr. To Tali T said, "People usually ignore what they should do and instead do what they think is best for them." - Eclipses, by Dr. To Tali T
For safety, you should never look straight at the sun. If you want to, in the case of another eclipse, always wear special eclipse goggles. Only remove the goggles when the moon is completely covering the sun. You can put this information to use in 2024, when the next eclipse will cover the entire United States.
For an actual article on the eclipse, visit
NPR Eclipse danger. It tells of the danger of
looking at the eclipse and how to know when
you actually have damaged your eyes.